CBS solid second as ABC, NBC air repeats

Fox dominated its two hours of primetime on Thursday, as “Amercian Idol” crushed everything in its path and “Bones” beat out its crime drama rival “CSI” in key demos on a night when ABC and NBC mailed it in with repeats.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged an impressive 6.5 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and 21.7 million viewers overall during the 8 o’clock hour. Though down from last week’s big two-hour results-show premiere, it was off just 4% in the demo and actually up 6% in total viewers vs. the comparable night a year ago (a Wednesday). “Idol” beat its combined ABC-CBS-NBC competition during the 8 o’clock hour by 10% in adults 18-49 (6.5 vs. 5.9) and by 17% in total viewers (21.7 million vs. 18.6 million). And from 9 to 10, “Bones” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) was up slightly from its most recent airing to win its timeslot in adults 18-49.

At CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” kicked off the night as Thursday’s No. 1 scripted program in demos (3.8/11 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall), in line with its most recent original, and was followed by “Rules of Engagement” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which was up from last week when it followed a “Big Bang” repeat. And from 9 to 11, both “CSI” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall) and “The Mentalist” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 14.4 million viewers overall) were up from their most recent first-run episodes, with the latter dominating its repeat broadcast rivals in the 10 o’clock hour and standing as Thursday’s most-watched scripted program.

ABC aired a two-hour “Wipeout” repeat (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) followed by a “Grey’s Anatomy” repeat at a special time (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall). And NBC settled for a measly 3 share with encores of its comedies “Community” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall), “Perfect Couples” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall), “The Office” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), “Parks and Recreation” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), “30 Rock” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) and “Outsourced” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall).

Univision moved up to third place on the night in 18-49 (tied with ABC) behind “Eva Luna” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and a two-hour “Triunfo del Amor” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.0/14; CBS, 3.1/9; ABC and Univision, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.3 million; CBS, 12.9 million; ABC, 4.8 million; Univision, 4.1 million; NBC, 2.4 million; CW, 1.2 million.

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